Rhodesian Vehicle Camouflage

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ImageRhodesian Vehicle Camouflage

The Rhodesian Army went through the usual phases of finding the ideal camouflage for vehicles during the Rhodesian Bush War.

In 1965 at the beginning of the bush war the majority of Rhodesian Army vehicles were in the old British Army bronze green or camouflage green but it was found that vehicles tended to stick out like saw thumbs in the African bush so a new disruptive camouflage was introduced of dark blue green and ochre. When this change occurred I am not quite sure but it would have been late 60’s and this disruptive scheme was used throughout the war. It was found with the intense rays of the sun these colours would bleach after time and thus you see this on occasions.

During the war the Rhodesian SAS on an external raid to attack Nkomo actually painted their Land Rovers in the overall green with short paint strokes of a lighter colour either ochre or cream to make their vehicles look like Zambian camouflaged vehicles. The Zambians painted their vehicles in the old British Army matt camouflage green, with blotches of cream and chocolate brown blotched camouflage using short strokes of a wide brush to create the disruptive pattern.

The Selous Scouts also used an overall scheme to simulate the Mozambique Soviet style camouflage on their vehicles. In fact I believe this was the Rhodesian blue green camouflage which was different to the Soviet colour but at a distance what did it matter.

With Zimbabwe Independence in 1980 the general scheme for Army vehicles was changed to dark Earth and dark green as per the Air Force colours. In 1981 there were still vehicles in the old camouflage waiting to be repainted.

At Zimbabwe Independence at Entumbane, on the outskirts of Bulawayo in 1980 and 1981 the 1 RAR Battle Group fought significant engagements against ZIPRA and ZANLA in the new camouflage. That included all vehicles, armoured cars and later four T-54/55s. The artillery attached (in 1981) to the 1 RAR Battle Group strangely enough sported vehicles with both old and new camouflage schemes. These units were all still manned by Rhodesian troops.

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2 thoughts on “Rhodesian Vehicle Camouflage

    • Hi Pete. These vehicles go back 20 years when I first started. The MAP 7.5 and 4.5 are scratch builds. I ALSO HAVE A pUMA SCRATCH BUILD BUT NOT COMPLETED. Bedford RL 3D-FV not sure if they are still in production. Recent buys are Land Rovers are Airfix, Bedford MK Airfix,Crocodile, Ferret MkII, AML60 and AML90, Unimogs are S&S Models. I have nearly a companys worth of Crocodiles with trailers. When a company deployed they towed trailers to their FOB.

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